More than 16,000 people have used Hartlepool’s new urgent care unit since it opened its doors to patients earlier this year.
Councillors have praised the new facility which opened at the University Hospital of Hartlepool in April for “transforming” urgent care.
The GP-led unit has been visited a total of 16,300 this year.
Hospital representatives from the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust presented an update on the Integrated Urgent Care Unit to Hartlepool Borough Council’s Audit and Governance Committee.
The unit on the Holdforth Road site includes walk-in and minor injuries services that were relocated from the One Life Hartlepool health centre in Park Road.
Led by GPs it is manned around the clock all year round for out of hours services, where patients can see a GP or urgent care practitioner for urgent care needs or minor injuries.
Health chiefs say it aims to make sure patients are seen by the right person in the right place.
Councillor Ray Martin-Wells, chair of the Audit and Governance Committee, said he had used the unit several times for his own children.
He said: “I think it has transformed urgent care availability in Hartlepool beyond recognition.
“We have GP cover 24/7 which we never had before at the One Life centre.
“I would urge anyone to use it. Normally you get an appointment within the hour which is a fantastic service.”
The unit is provided as an alliance by North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Hartlepool and Stockton Health (the local GP Federation) and North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.
Councillor Brenda Harrison added: “The urgent care unit has been a fantastic addition.
“People have peace of mind that they can go there and be treated very quickly and efficiently whether they end up in North Tees hospital or not.
“In my experience they have been able to be treated at Hartlepool.”
Hospital staff said they had received a lot of positive feedback from both patients and staff.
One patient said on Twitter: “Thank you to Hartlepool trust for caring for my family this week.
“Excellent urgent care centre and fracture clinic. NHS there when needed.”
A single parent who saw a doctor after feeling unwell said in an email: “I was seen to promptly and the whole time I needed to leave the room he spoke to my little boy and made us both at ease.”
A similar integrated urgent care unit also opened at the University Hospital of North Tees site in Stockton.